“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – Matthew 27:46
“God, always the last resort of the helpless—God is sometimes so slow to act!” – Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur
This is a subject I want to address because I think people sometimes feel guilty about it. As with anxiety and depression, this can be sinful, but it can also be perfectly fine.
I know I yelled at God more than once during my bouts of depression and OCD. Sometimes you’ve been bent so much you feel you’re about to break. The natural response is to question God and/or yell at Him. Perhaps you’ve been in the same situation and you yelled at God and now you feel guilty. It happened to me. On top of all the other shame and depression and guilt I felt, I felt guilty about yelling at God. I thought He was looking down at me saying, “Jeez, will this guy ever get it together?”
Granted, you can hate God from the bottom of your heart and curse Him. That’s sinful, and perhaps some of you reading this book have been there. The good news is God always offers forgiveness. But you can also yell at God in distress, opening up to Him about your deepest thoughts and fears and frustrations. You can honestly question God to His face and tell Him why you don’t understand His reasoning. You can scream at Him to look at you and help you—you can even tell Him you’re frustrated at Him for not helping.
The sort of uber-spiritual, fundamentalist, puritanical theology discussed in the previous chapter would probably tell you you’re sinning and you wouldn’t do this if you actually trust God. But that’s a lie from the pit of hell. How do I know? Let’s look at Jesus.
On the Mount of Olives in the most difficult situation in history, Jesus prayed to His Father. Jesus knew what was about to happen; as God, He knew the future, so He knew He was going to follow through and hang on the cross. But the weight of punishment for humanity’s sins was so distressing that He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
Jesus cried to God in His distress. What a wonderful Savior He is. He didn’t stroll happily under the guise of “I trust God, so I don’t need to be stressed.” Our Savior is not the spiritual guru of unattainable spirituality that you can’t relate to. He does not look at you in your struggles and say, “Ah, humans…” with a smile and a shake of His head. You are not alone in your suffering. Christ does not just understand your suffering, He has suffered with you. I wouldn’t want the savior of the uber-spirituals.
And look at David in the Psalms. He questions God and lays his heart bare before Him. He doesn’t always understand God’s ways.
I think God wants us to be completely open with Him. I’ll even go as far as to say I think God wants us—at least sometimes—to question Him. There is little in life that brings us closer to Him.
Talk to God. Open up to Him, even if it’s ugly. He can handle it. And if it’s done with a good heart, don’t feel guilty. Don’t let anyone else make you feel guilty about it either.
This is an excerpt from my book Anxiety and Depression Are (Not) Always Sins, which can be bought on Amazon at this link: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B075Z17W11